FanPost

The Perceived "Downfall' of Michael Vick



I've been hearing about it basically all season long, and I'm sure all of you, who probably specifically follow Philly have heard about it even more. He's a "turnover machine", "overrated", and plenty of other things. So, I've tuned in to quite a few games this season to see for myself. What I have come away with is Vick is pretty much what he's always been. An electrifying QB who can be inaccurate and wild at times.

The thing that stood out to me the most though, was your offensive line. To put it nicely, they're terrible. King Dunlap and Demetress Bell just might be the worst offensive tackle tandem in the league. They are basically both turnstiles, and seem to be good for essentially letting their guy have a free rush at Vick multiple times a game. Whoever the starting center is doesn't seem to be to far behind them either. To summarize, that means that at arguably the three most important spots on the offensive line, the Eagles have got two career backup players, and one journeyman. And frankly, it really shows!

It seems like every time he drops back he's hit, or is having to elude a hit (which still often amazes me). The guy has been sacked 27 times in let's say 7 games (since he played what, a drive against Dallas?). That's almost 4 times a game, and imagine how many more there would be if he didn't have the escape ability he does! In an article I just read about Vick by the "great" Skip Bayless (I use that term very loosely) he referenced Ron Jaworski saying that Vick had been hit 139 times this season! I added his total attempts (316) and sacks (27) to get his total dropbacks which were 343. That means he's been hit on 40% of those dropbacks. I haven't calculated this stat for any other QB but watching every Packers game, I know there's no way Rodgers has been hit on 40% of his dropbacks. And our offensive line is pretty middle of the road. So, I'd venture to guess some of the other better QB's in the league with better offensive lines haven't been hit at this rate either.

The most effective way to take a QB off his game is to do exactly what teams have done to Vick this season: hit him. Frankly, I think the fact that he hasn't turned the ball over more is pretty impressive. I also would argue that Andy Reid's play calling has done him little favors. He has to be fully aware that the offensive line is brutal, and that Vick probably won't often have time to run those hi-lo concepts that have become a staple of his offense. Yet, he continues to have Vick take 5 to 7 step drops and under utilize what is probably one of the best running back's in the game in LeSean McCoy. By my calculation, the pass to run percentage this season is about 60% pass to 40% run (343 dropbacks + 212 carries = 555 total plays. 343/555 = about 60%). I realize this is something that this is probably the case darn near every season under Reid but I guess I'd think he would make an adjustment under the circumstances.

Moving forward, it really wouldn't surprise me if Foles "looked" (statistically) every bit as good as Vick. I was impressed with him in the preseason but more so, I'd guess Reid will probably do with Foles what he should have done with Vick; utilize McCoy more and call some more quick hitting plays due to Foles inexperience. And I'm sure that will only further convince people that Vick was at fault for the Eagles not living up to their potential. It will probably lead to Vick's release and maybe even Reid's firing, which seems crazy but I guess every head coaches time eventually comes, right? Anyways, I'd love to hear some feedback.

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